What makes a good project? : a proposed assessment of students, teachers, and observers

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2010-08

Authors

Lestik, Kristina

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Abstract

Much research has been conducted about project-based instruction (PBI) instantiation under a variety of conditions, yet there is a lack of literature that details the successes and challenges accrued by students, teachers, and outside observers during actual PBI implementation. In order to determine the conditions necessary to realize a successful project, I have developed a method (modified from Petrosino’s PBI research with preservice teachers [19]) to investigate the PBI affinity and knowledge level of participants. Students, teachers, and observers will complete a survey and rate a specific project experience from their past using a PBI literature-based project rubric; the rubric analyses will be compared to their survey responses as a further assessment of their philosophical support and comprehension of PBI. Furthermore, I have created three protocols to interview a random subset of participants from each frame of reference. I will then compare the responses of each group to responses from PBI researchers with expertise in the history and practice of PBI, illuminating precisely where PBI theorists and practitioners diverge. This data will allow us to analyze ways in which the interacting beliefs and actions of these three groups complicate the practical implementation of PBI. By identifying where PBI implementations struggle, we can suggest and construct successful scaffolds for students, teachers, and classroom observers.

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